Stricter speed limits = dangerous driving?
A study by the University of Western Australia claims that stricter speed limits make driving more dangerous.
The researchers put 84 drivers into a driving simulator and each was told that heavy traffic fines would be given if they broke the speed limit. Some were told the fines would enforced at 11km/h over the limit, but for others the punishment was for breaking the limit by 6km/h or just 1km/h.
As the participants drove, they were shown a series of red dots in their peripheral vision. Those that had stricter punishments were slower to react to these.
The conclusion? That stricter speed limits make road users less responsive to changing road conditions. Drivers are distracted by maintaining their speed rather than concentrating on the conditions around them. This is similar to another study which found that bad driving increases 689% around speed cameras.